Common office hazards that could lead to injuries

Office jobs can be full of hazards, such as poor air quality, obstacles and bad ergonomics, that can lead to workplace injuries.

When Connecticut residents go to work, the last thing they expect is to get injured. However, injuries do happen on the job all of the time. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 34,500 recordable injuries in the private sector over the course of a single year. Of the more serious cases, 67 percent lead to at least one day away from work. Certain jobsites, such as construction zones, may have more of a stigma for workplace accidents, but employees can even sustain injuries in an office setting due to some common hazards.

Indoor air quality

When the air quality in an office is not as good as it could be, workers may breathe in small particles that could lead to respiratory disorders, allergies, asthma and chemical sensitivity. Odors can also point to an issue with air quality, but bad smells do not have to be present in an office with low air quality.

Employers can improve the air quality in a space by revamping ventilation systems, removing harmful cleaners, monitoring humidity, practicing good housekeeping and reducing office crowding.

Obstacles

Tripping, falling and slipping are some of the most common workplace injuries. Tripping hazards can come from open drawers, wet sidewalks or cluttered hallways. Some obstacles could lead to employees being struck or caught between objects.

Workers and business owners can work together to eliminate some of these hazards by doing the following:

  • Wearing shoes with non-slip soles.
  • Sitting properly in a stable chair.
  • Clearing walkways of clutter.
  • Fixing damaged flooring.
  • Teaching workers how to properly use office equipment.

Falling over obstacles can lead to serious injuries, such as sprained ankles, broken wrists and head traumas.

Ergonomics

Improper posture can play a big role on a person's chances of getting injured. Because office workers spend a majority of their days sitting at a desk, having good chairs and proper desk setup can help reduce ergonomic-related problems. Workers should be able to sit in a neutral position to avoid musculoskeletal problems. An unsupportive chair or a monitor at an improper height can lead to back, neck or spine injuries.

Ergonomics can encompass more than how a person sits at a desk. It can also include how someone picks up heavy boxes or files paperwork. Knowing the best way to twist and bend can help office employees avoid unnecessary strain to their joints.

Not every office worker in Connecticut is going to get hurt at some point in his or her career, but some employees will. If an accident does lead to a workplace injury, it can be beneficial to work with an attorney familiar with this type of personal injury case.